WHATEVER ELSE may be true of Aracely Mora's case against Raghu Mathur, to the trial observer, there can be little doubt that something was very wrong with (1) the Poindexter hire and (2) protections from harassment for women at IVC and the SOCCCD. Without doubt, Poindexter was a disastrous incompetent, a point that is not disputed by the district. Nor is it disputed, apparently, that a simple phone call to Poindexter's previous employer would have made plain the man's incompetence and instability.
With regard to the protection of women, the district appears to be adopting the position that Poindexter was a poor manager, but not a harasser of women. But unless the witnesses at this trial are remarkably accomplished and organized liars, it is quite plain that female employees of the college were subjected to Poindexter's menacing behavior and the college did nothing to protect them. The jury did not judge that these women were protected from a menacing employee. Rather, it rejected the specific claim that Mathur failed to respond to a hostile work environment (for these women). (See Opening statements.)
Please note that the trial's verdict in no way challenges the fact that Poindexter was a disastrous and foolish hire (thank you, Raghu) or that there were people--women, in fact--who were allowed by the college/district to be terrorized by an employee. Remember: it wasn't until that employee got into a physical altercation that the institution pulled him out of the workplace, despite many months of complaints about his menacing behavior. (The judge decided that Cely's attorney may not refer to the altercation.)
FOR THOSE OF US who have been observing the Mathur trial, it will come as no surprise that Cely lost her case today. It comes as no surprise because, during the course of the trial, we were increasingly aware and concerned that most of the jury of eight gave every indication of being a group of immature young people. One juror was always visibly bored and seemed to be sleeping much of the time. A young man (who works for a game show) seemed often to be snickering and joking to the delight of his new female friends on this jury.
My heart sank each time I looked at these people.
But enough about the jury. My advice: watch Mathur. See what he does now.
The origins of our college district, Part 8: <i>the twisty, unpredictable, curious and dubious episodes that led to the choice of the “north campus” site (part A)</i>
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